Diseases of the coronary arteries that carry blood to the heart, or commonly known as Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) generally occur in patients over 40 years of age. However, younger individuals are also at risk of experiencing the disease. The category of young CHD patients based on research is under the age limit of 40 -45 years. It is known that the incidence rate of CHD at a young age is 13 people per 1,000 population for men, and 5 people per 1,000 population for women. Although CHD at a young age is rare, this is an important issue, because this disease can have a negative impact on the lifestyle of young people who tend to be more active.
The following are several factors that can increase a person's risk of experiencing CHD at a young age, including:
Smoking is the most common risk factor for most young CHD patients.
- Family History
It is known that young CHD patients tend to more often have a family history of CHD. The relationship between family history and CHD in young people can be caused by genetic and environmental factors, which can appear through body conditions that cause an increased risk of CHD events, such as excess body weight, high levels of cholesterol and glucose in the blood, and disorders of the vessel walls. coronary artery blood.
- Abnormal Lipid Levels
Abnormalities in lipid levels (fats in the blood) that often occur in CHD patients at a young age are high cholesterol levels, or known as hypercholesterolemia. Another condition that can arise is high triglyceride levels or hypertriglyceridemia, which indirectly can be a risk factor for the formation of blockages and structural disorders in blood vessel walls.
- Diabetes & Hypertension
These two risk factors rarely occur in young people, but often disorders related to blood pressure and glucose metabolism in the body have started to appear and are not realized.
Obesity is a fairly strong risk factor for the occurrence of CHD in young people. This is because excess body weight has a dominant role in the process of forming blockages and disturbances in the walls of the coronary arteries, which can develop into coronary heart disease.
The risk factors above are divided into modifiable risk factors and non-modifiable risk factors. In general, risk factors that cannot be modified are age, gender, and family history of disease. Meanwhile, modifiable risk factors are risk factors that can be avoided through lifestyle changes, such as smoking, obesity, impaired lipid levels, diabetes, and hypertension.
The signs and symptoms felt by CHD patients at a young age also tend to be different compared to those experienced by patients at an older age. Older patients often complain of persistent chest pain, before it can develop into a heart attack. However, in patients who are younger, persistent symptoms of chest pain are often not experienced and tend to experience sudden cardiac arrest without any previous symptoms.
In general, the treatment method for patients with CHD at a young age is similar to patients who are older. In the management of a heart attack (Acute Myocardial Infarction), the process of administering drugs and actions to open the blockage will be the same for young and older patients.
In CHD conditions with symptoms that persist for a long time in young patients, it is necessary to carry out intervention to ensure good coronary blood flow (revascularization). The risk of intervention being carried out will of course be lower in young patients, compared to older patients.
Of course, the most important thing to do is to modify your lifestyle by intensively reducing risk factors, such as: stopping smoking, starting an exercise habit, lowering lipid levels, avoiding excessive stress, and for patients who need it, intensive treatment for diabetes and hypertension. according to the recommendations of specialist doctors who are experts in their field.
Article written by dr. Chorniansyah Indriyanto Rahayu, Sp.JP(K) FIHA (Heart and Blood Vessel Specialist at EMC Sentul Hospital).